Business is booming around Lawton

Lawton_Business is booming! That's the word from the Lawton-Ft. Sill Chamber of Commerce. In the last year, we've seen at least a dozen new businesses come to town, both national retailers, and local home-grown shops.

But construction continues, and even more businesses say they're on their way to Lawton, bringing not only more cash to our local economy, but more job opportunities, and more for you to do around town.

Now we've all seen the stores that have actually come to town, like Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings; and we've seen stores like Starbucks invest in Lawton with a second location in town; but what about all that other construction you see around town? We found out what's coming.

Lawton is growing so fast, we're seeing additions like this new center on 38th and Cache roads, built before business owners even sign the dotted line. "Well, I think what you're seeing is you're seeing developers. "Builders are willing to start building their facilities on a spec basis, knowing that by the time they get them finished, that they're going to have tenants for those buildings," said Dana Davis, the president of the Lawton-Ft. Sill Chamber of Commerce.

But Davis says the builders aren't worried, because the retailers are on the way. "If you look at the studies and analysis developers share with us, they tell us that we are significantly under retailed," Davis said. "And from national retailers as well. So not only are we trying to bring national retailers to our communities, so that people don't think they have to leave here and spend their money somewhere else, but we want to continue to grow small businesses."

With more national restaurant chains, and big name retailers coming to town, Lawton is marking it's place on the map. And all these new businesses could offer a thousand new local jobs this year alone. "I think that if people are just patient, and they continue to drive around town, seeing the improvements that are happening here, see the growth that is occurring here, see the new stuff that is happening here, you know they can't do anything but be excited," he said.

Now we just saw that second Starbucks open, and rumor has it a third is in the works. A store manager said Wednesday Starbucks wants have one store for every 20,000 people, meaning their goal is to have five stores here within the next 10 years.

And one final note, Davis confirmed Target is also interested in building in Lawton. He says we could see a Target store here in the next two to five years.